‘Housing for All’ Guidelines on the Residential Zoned Land Tax for Local Authorities issues

The Minister for Housing, Local Government, and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, has issued Residential Zoned Land Tax Guidelines for Planning Authorities under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act (2000), as amended.

The Guidelines, which support Action 15.2 of Housing for All, set out the processes and considerations for planning authorities to undertake the mapping exercise, identifying land to which the tax applies.

Furthermore, the Guidelines identify the matters to be taken into account during the appraisal of submissions from members of the public and landowners on land which should or should not be included on maps for the purpose of the tax. The tax, which will be operational from 1 February 2024, will replace the Vacant Site Levy at that time. The primary aim of the tax is as an active land management measure, to incentivise landowners to activate existing planning permissions for housing on identified lands, or to engage with planning authorities and seek planning permission on land which is suitably zoned and appropriately serviced.

The Guidelines, in conjunction with measures to identify zoned and serviced land nationally, will penalise the lack of use of zoned and serviced land for housing. In addition the tax and guidelines will assist in directing investment in services and social infrastructure to the land which is identified as being subject to the tax, due to the greater potential for activation and development of the land.

The Guidelines do not set out a new planning policy, but provide a framework and actions for planning authorities to consider as a part of their analysis and identification of land to be subject to the tax. The Guidelines are part of a suite of integrated measures and policy direction within Housing for All to engage lands in cities and towns, create compact and integrated communities, aid brownfield regeneration, activate greenfield landbanks for housing, and support place-making and growth of sustainable communities.

These Guidelines will:

(i) Activate greenfield landbanks and brownfield lands for housing and regeneration, increasing housing supply of differing tenures and designs and aiding in creation of ongoing activation of zoned and serviced land and planning permissions for housing.

(ii) Support other key policies contained in Housing for All, including Land Value Sharing, Town Centres First, Croi Conaithe (Cities) and (Towns) due to identification and prioritising vacant and idle land for redevelopment and regeneration.

(iii) Support the accommodation of anticipated population growth and their housing and social infrastructural needs, by directing growth to land which is appropriately serviced, where activation of planning permission for housing is incentivised and where greater prediction of certainty for supporting facilities can be predicted by delivery agencies.

In welcoming these new Guidelines, the Minister noted how, “Activation of zoned and serviced development land is a key aspect of ensuring increased housing supply in a consistent way into the future. Significant uptake and use of zoned and serviced land for housing within the six year development plan cycle is an integral part of ensuring that land identified in plans is built on and that state and local authority investment in services is effectively used for community development.”

The Minister added, “Housing supply needs to increase across the State, in cities, towns and villages to meet demand. Our existing model of waiting for zoned and serviced land to be developed by landowners and developers does not allow for prioritisation of investment or encourage housing supply.”

%d bloggers like this: